Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
who says you can’t teach an old Bandicoot new tricks?Presentation and Introduction
- After the first Crash Bandicoot game came out they went onto the sequel Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back received generally positive reviews from critics and was considered to be superior to its predecessor. Much of the praise went to the game's graphics, control and music, with minor criticisms varying between the trial-and-error gameplay, lack of level variety, easy boss levels and lack of innovation. There were copies sold to North America and then to Europe and Japan.Plot and Story
- After Crash Bandicoot defeats Dr. Cortex in the first game, Cortex plummets down to the ground as there he discovers a cave filled with crystals as he looks for the source of them. As the game takes place one year later passes Cortex along with his new henchman N.Gin (replacing Nitrus Brio) is looking for a way to find all the 25 crystals. Cortex then finds his archenemy to find the crystals for him.
Crash Bandicoot in the jungle with Coco (replacing Tawna (due to rating issues)) then goes off and there he is transported into a warp room with five doorways as he is informed by Dr.Cortex that he needs 25 crystals to save the earth. Meanwhile he’s also aided by Coco who searches out know about what Cortex’s true intensions really are.
When Crash gets contacted by Dr.Nitrus Brio, Cortex’s former assistant, who tells Crash that if he truly wants to save the world, he must collect Gems instead of Crystals, but then Brio may use the Gems to destroy CortexGameplay and Level Design
- The gameplay of 'Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes back' is your usual standard typical platform game like in the first game where you have to go through the level all while controlling the character Crash Bandicoot throughout the game on over five (or six counting the secret warp room) different warp rooms now letting the player of the game choose which five doorway they can choose through and select a level. It no longer goes in the overhead map like the ‘Mario games' where it’s going through another island to another, as they got rid of that feature along with the bonus token stage. Crash's attacks are a spin attack and a jump attack as where goes, newer abilities he has is crawling and a new slide attack, if you crouch down and jump you’ll have an extra jump and you’ll have a move where you can slide jump, along with that there is a body slam move which works on certain crates and enemies and a digging ability which there are 2 levels you can do that, you will be able to break boxes as they contain special items inside such as apple-like fruit which are known as Wumpa Fruit which are found throughout the game most of the time have all of them you’ll get an extra life, other items are extra lives, an Aku-Aku mask which is a one hit time only which protects you from harm and if three are obtained then you get an invincibility, there are wooden crates protected by steel that require a body slam in order for it to be broken and run through the level and sometimes different crates which there is, there is an explosive crate which is a "TNT" crate which cannot be used to spin but can be jumped on which goes off in 3 seconds, goes down to "1" it explodes. The newest crate introduced is a ‘Nitro’ crate which will explode automatically if you touch it and there is a ‘detonation switch’ crate if you hit it all the Nitro crates will explode.
There are about to 25 levels in the game (counting 2 secret levels (excluding the bosses)) in each warp room which are creative and well designed and have a very linear and one way place where you can only traverse forward, if you go back the camera doesn't turn where you are going in the opposite direction. In the chase levels the camera makes you focuses in a reverse area where you have to run away from a giant boulder, which looks like a snowball as it is like you are in an action movie (similar to the first game). There are other levels that have you in a side scrolling perspective view where it is like the 'Mario' games as it goes on.
The levels consist of a jungle night and day, snowy area, rivers, ruins, mountains, sewers and outer space tunnel and space station. There's also a level which lets you play as Crash riding on a polar bear through the snowy blizzards of avoiding obstacles where it gets fun and not as sensitive and sometimes and sometimes aggravating trying not to crash into anything in your path like in the original game where you ride the hog in the native village, there is a surfing level where you can be in the swamp / river area and you use a jet-propelled surfboard and a jetpack in the outer space tunnels.
Bosses in the game are just easy and just not at all very challenging whatsoever.
There is the bonus stages which you no longer need to collect tokens which resemble character icons to advance to a bonus stage but you can access them through getting on a platform or a trapdoor-like one where you can destroy all the boxes and advance it to your box collection. There is also crystal collecting which introduces the crystals to this game as there are 25 of each of them scattered around in each level. There are still gems around in each level and when you collect the gems you’ll get Crash’s victory dance which is new in this game. There are color gems which require effort to get. The save feature is now fixed as you can no longer save after going through bonus levels and having to use passwords to advance your way through. As it is no longer as cryptic as when you die in a level you’ll have to restart the level and get the gem all over again.
The gems are relevant as if you collect all 42 gems you will unlock an alternate ending... See here3:01Graphics and Controls
- The game's level design on the graphics are very well designed and well detailed as the first game has had it some parts do look not at all polygonal and not at all look like a jumbled mess of pixels. As this game the graphics are not quite as greater as the original’s graphics are. It sure has improved character models and put in details into it. There is a lot of shadowing, lighting and shading, still texturing but looks a bit as it still has it. The character models look more improved as they stand out as Crash’s model is the most recognized. As for the environmental backgrounds there is a lot of decreased linearity.
Controls on Crash are much better and improved than the first game, when you are in the polar bear levels the collision isn’t as bad from the hog ride levels when you have to have it be too precise on where to have it. The surfing levels’ controls are very accurate and the jetpack controls aren’t so cryptic but lets you move inverted like in flying games at times where up is down and down is up but the options menu you can change it.Sound Effects, Voice Acting and Music
- There is an added amount of more voice acting in the game as there are fewer actors and they almost sound like they are done by the same person, but from in the first game that there it could have been a little better. Now that Dr. Neo Cortex has a new voice actor with Clancy Brown taking his role he did a good job at it.
The sound effects in the game are still the same as the original game and still has the most recognizable sound is the Wumpa Fruit collecting sound effect that you hear almost through the entire game.
Music is great but not bad. Not that forgettable but it does fit into the environments of the game. As each level has their own different background music they use different types of music and instruments to add into the background of the area which is quite fitting and it feels as it’s got that usual American / Western cartoon feel to it. The title screen theme is a remix of the old one but with more of an outer space feel to it.
Music so far is quite decent and the sound effects are done nicely and go down to being decent too.Overall
People who like this game say this is the best Crash Bandicoot game of the series so far. Its still available on Amazon and now still downloadable on PS3 if anybody I know who wants to play a video game this is a game I would reccomend to people. It has nothing new into gaming but still with a short story, good gameplay, good graphics and controls and decent voice acting and good sound effects.
This game so far on my list is my all time favorite Crash Bandicoot game. Plot and Story – 6 / 10
Gameplay and Level Design - 8/ 10
Graphics and Controls - 9 / 10
Sound Effects, Voice Acting and Music – 8 / 10